Is coffee good for you? Coffee consumption is already known to be associated with a reduction in the risk of Parkinson’s Disease, and this is believed to be due to its caffeine content.
However, recent studies also suggest a neuroprotective role for other components of coffee.
One of these – eicosanoyl-5-hydroxytryptamide, or EHT – has been shown to improve neural integrity and reduce neuroinflammation in mice, offering a further potential mechanism for the benefits seen with coffee consumption in terms of Parkinson’s disease.
This is encouraging news, as it may support the idea that decaffeinated coffee could also offer a degree of neuroprotection, an idea already proposed by studies that show neuroprotective effects of coffee in the context of Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease and other neurological disorders.
In addition to the link with Parkinson’s Disease, a study of 4,197 women and 2,820 men from three French cities in which cognitive performance, clinical diagnosis of dementia, and caffeine consumption were evaluated at baseline and at 2 and 4 years, the psychostimulant properties of caffeine appeared to reduce cognitive decline in women with increasing age.
Another study in an animal model of type 2 diabetes has shown that caffeine consumption may help prevent memory loss in the hippocampus, an area of the brain often affected in people with diabetes.
Is coffee good for you? While the evidence to date is not enough to suggest that people should take up drinking coffee for the potential health benefits, those of us who already enjoy the coffee can feel less guilty about our morning (and mid-morning) cuppa.